Dr. Patricia Schady

I am an astrophysics researcher at the Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (MPE), in Garching, Munich. I have been working within the high energy group since October 2009, predominantly on gamma-ray burst (GRB) research, and within the GROND team. My research interests include transients and their host galaxies, stellar and galaxy evolution, and properties of the interstellar medium at high-z. In December 2012 I was awarded a 5-year Alexander von Humboldt Sofja Kovalewskaja Award to build up my own research group to investigate the properties of GRB host galaxies and their relation to other star forming galaxy populations. That group was made up of myself, three PhD students and four postdocs.

Gamma-Ray Bursts
A causal connection between long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and massive star formation is now well established, and their immensely bright afterglows therefore pinpoint regions of distant star formation independent of galaxy luminosity. Moreover, they are followed by a luminous broadband afterglow produced by synchrotron emission, and therefore have extremely simple spectra on which the imprint from attenuating material within the host galaxy can be studied in detail. GRB afterglow observations thus offer a truly unique view of the interstellar medium (ISM) within star forming galaxies, and much of my work has involved the analysis of their broadband spectral energy distributions (SEDs) to study their host galaxies, and the properties of GRBs themselves.